The Government of Quebec makes public the second experts’ report on the surplus hospital buildings on Mount Royal

2014-07-16

The Government of Quebec makes public the second experts’ report on the surplus hospital buildings on Mount Royal

The second and final report by the group of experts studying Montreal’s surplus hospital buildings was rendered public by the Government of Quebec on July 8th. This report pertained specifically to the hospital buildings located within the Mount Royal Heritage Site, namely the Royal Victoria and Hôtel-Dieu hospitals.

The group, composed of chairperson Marie Lessard, urban planner, Cameron Charlebois, architect, and Claude Corbo, chairman of the Table de concertation du Mont-Royal, consulted with many organizations including the Ville de Montréal and its boroughs, the City of Westmount, the MUHC and CHUM, Heritage Montreal and Les amis de la montagne, in order to listen to concerns and provide recommendations regarding the future vocation of these heritage institutions.

In their report, the experts urge the Government to act quickly in deciding upon the destiny of the Royal Victoria and Hôtel-Dieu hospitals and to assume responsibility of the two properties under the aegis of the Société québécoise des infrastructures. They are against the sale of the buildings and reject their conversion into luxury condominiums. They recommend that the Government appoint a delegate to take charge of this revitalization project and warn that the process to convert the buildings may be very lengthy and costly in terms of human and financial resources.

McGill University has already stated its interest in occupying the Royal Victoria property which the group of experts acknowledge as a logical and desirable solution, albeit with serious reservations regarding the substantial cost of the project estimated at $850M. As for Hôtel-Dieu, the group of experts supports the Agence de la santé de Montréal’s position that the need to maintain a hospital vocation is not essential. Nonetheless, the buildings could become occupied by health services or social and community housing. Another possible option would be to group the École de santé publique of the Université de Montréal, the Institut national de santé publique du Québec and the Direction de la santé publique de Montréal under the same roof.

According to Marie Lessard, the future of these heritage buildings is a public responsibility and an occasion to green some of the parking lots on the mountain, as well as increase accessibility to Mount Royal from the downtown core.

To consult the full report, click here.

Photo: Ville de Montréal. Royal Victoria Hospital